Time Sensitivity: Sunday On or Before Mother’s Day
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Phyllis Diller is quoted as saying, “It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and violence every single day should be avoided entirely, but the desire to beget children is a natural urge.”
But, Mildred B. Vermont probably put more correctly when she said, “Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs … the payment is pure love.”
Ask any mother today, and she will tell you. To hold a little one and feel love is one of the wonders of the world.
In 1 John 4:12, our Bible states “God’s abides in us and God’s love is perfected in us.”
It is certainly perfected in mothers. A Mother’s love is such a mighty force.
“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” Tenneva Jordan
There was a scientist at the University of Wisconsin who created a mothering machine for little animals. It was made out of wire and covered with terry cloth. Out of the wire was a bottle of milk and there was a light bulb to keep the little one warm. But they found that the little ones were dying because little ones needed love.
Love is the one thing you cannot recreate with wire, terry cloth, and a light bulb. At some point in your life, someone held you in their arms, close to their heart. They had the look of love in their eyes and a truly open heart. This happened to every one of us; somebody somewhere along the line did this, and it was the greatest expression of love. You know how special it is, and you know how special it was in your life, whether this person was your natural mother, your adoptive mother, grandmother or relative.
You are here this morning as testimony to that holding. You are able to love because of the love you received. You learned how to love. It was a silent thing, but it was profound and it changed your life, and continues daily. There were times when you made lots of noise, but you were responded to and you were cared for. You were loved.
I want to share a story with you about two religions –
A woman sat by her hearthside place
Reading her bible with a pleasant face,
‘Till a child came up with a childish frown,
Pushed the bible and said, “Put it down.”
Then the mother slapped his curly head and said,
“Troublesome child, go off to bed!
A great deal of God’s book I must know
To train you up as a child must go.”
The child went off to bed to cry
And denounced religion by and by.
Another woman bent over a bible
With a smile of joy and an intent look,
‘Till a child came up and pressed on her knee
And said of the bible, “Put it down; take me.”
And then the mother sighed as she stroked his head
Saying softly, “I will never get this read.
But I’ll try by loving to learn God’s will,
And God’s love unto my child instill.”
That child went to bed without a sigh
And will love religion by and by.
The real religion, the only religion that counts (no matter what name we call it) is love. We always have to ask ourselves as a test for religion (which is a system of life) is how loving is this? We should carry our religion of love, no matter what we call it, into our homes, our lives, and our actions.
Whether we are female or male, we should allow that love to come forth from us, whether for something or someone very young, an adult, or someone that is very old that needs our love. We should always allow that wonderful aspect, the best aspect, of human love to come through us – the love, the magic, of motherhood.
Twenty some years ago, a lady came to a minister. She was very, very distressed. She sat in the minister’s office and she said that through a series of events her nephew was coming to live with her. She said to the minister, “I’ve never had any children, and I’m a harsh woman — I admit that. I don’t have the kind of love that I would want to give to a child. I’m scared. How can I, being harsh, hard, and stern in life, give love to this young boy?”
The minister said to her, “You have God’s love inside of you. If you consent to that God love coming through you, it will come through. It is the love of God that will equip you to love this child. If you allow yourself the privilege of having this love come through, it will come through.”
She said, “Yes, yes. But I was never created to do that. You don’t understand my nature. You see the good too much, preacher.”
The minister said, “No. I know that God love can come through you – if you let it.”
That was many years ago. Today that woman has a grown nephew. She was changed by that experience, and so was he. She was a great aunt; she was a wonderful mothering influence. But she didn’t become something; she allowed something to become her. We, each one of us, already are loving children of God. We just have to allow the nature that our mother allowed some time ago, to come through us. Why not do it in honor of mother? What greater honor of a mother than to express today in our lives some of the love she taught us how to express?
There’s a great story I want to share with you about this same idea. It is a story of an Arabian horse. As a young horse, he was orphaned. This Arabian foal was adopted by a family of camels. Every day he looked around and all he saw were other camels, so he decided that he was going to be the best camel he could be because he didn’t know he was an Arabian horse.
Daily through the hot sands of the desert he would carry heavy loads. He would drink at every oasis because he was so parched and thirsty. And every day he would put his hooves down into the sand and move slowly because that was the way a good camel was supposed to be.
One day, when he was very, very old, he looked out across the desert. From his weary eyes he saw an Arabian horse running in the distance on a sand dune. He said to himself, “That is the most beautiful animal I have ever seen in my life!” The shiny mane was flowing back from his head and neck. He said, “If I could only be like that.” He thought to himself, “Once, years ago I had the desire to run, leap high in the air and go over the sand dunes … ” but he quickly remembered his place as a camel. He died from old age never knowing what he really was.
The worst thing we can do in human life is to die not knowing what we are. Male or female, we are meant to love; we are meant to express God’s love. We are meant to cuddle little things, nurture, and cause great things to happen in individuals.
We are meant to celebrate life. According to Jesus Christ, the ultimate way to celebrate life is to love all, realizing we are one in the humanity with each other. Otherwise we’re doing a great disservice, to ourselves, but also to our mothers, because that is the way mom would want it to be.
Mom told us to play nice on the playground. She told us to treat other people well. We should never forget those lessons in our adult life.
Being Christian, we talk a lot about Jesus Christ. Perhaps we do not talk enough about His mother and the importance she played, not only in His ministry but in the formation of His life.
We have all heard the story that Jesus was born of a miraculous conception. I like that doctrine because there is a miraculous conception that is born many times in us, whether we are female or male.
For instance, if we feel we are at the end of our rope, if we have exhausted every idea in human mind, all of a sudden we get an idea from God that revolutionizes our life and changes us. We know the way to go. Without hesitation we go that way and we meet success.
It was an idea that we might not have ever deserved, yet it came. There was a Divine intervention in our life and God made our life livable again. It was a miraculous conception.
There are other times in our physical bodies when it appears we have no life in a certain area. Then all of a sudden God-life moves in and through us and it is as if we have had a miraculous conception. Truly we have. We have conceived something higher than ourselves.
Every mother who has ever conceived a child has conceived miraculously. You know that. When you were in the hospital and held that little one you could not help but to believe in God, love and power that is greater than ourselves.
“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” Sophia Loren
Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.
Jesus’ first miracle says so much about his mother. The wedding at Cana [John 2:1-8, 11]. “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.” I’m sure she was invited by the family because she knew them. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding, but I’m sure they were invited because of Mary. “When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.'”
I don’t suggest you say to your mother, “Woman … ” But in Jesus’ day this was a very endearing term. It was saying, “Marvelous, marvelous lady.” But He was also saying what you’ve said to your mother many times: “Mom, I’m not ready yet. I can’t do this.”
You know what mom said to you. She said to you in various ways, “I believe in you. You, more than anybody else in the world, can take care of this problem. You’re my son/daughter and I believe in you and I know what you can accomplish with your life.” That’s what mom was saying to Jesus.
I’m sure there were many other things she said besides what is written down here. I’m sure He went on and on, for ten times, to his mother saying such things as, “Mom, there’s no way I can do this now.” Mary didn’t even listen to Him, just like your mother didn’t listen to you when you said “I can’t.”
“His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.'” Keep in mind this was His first miracle.
You know how it was for you when you were producing your first miracle . . . like that first day on your new job when you felt so insecure. You just didn’t know if you had it in you to do what you had trained all these years to do. Yet this was the time. You had your mother calling and telling you, “I believe in you!”
“And they filled them up to the rim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.'” You know the rest of the story. They did and it was the finest wine they had ever tasted. It goes on to say, “and his disciples believed in him.” It doesn’t say that then Mary believed; she already knew, and believed. The disciples didn’t, but Mary did. Then at the end of the story it talks of how Jesus went with his mother to the next place they were going.
Jesus’ mother was so important to Him that the parting words on the Cross, almost the very last thing He said, was, “Woman, behold thy son, and behold thy mother.” He was looking out for his mother. He was getting someone to take care of his mother, whom He valued so highly. He was caring for her, even while He was in great pain.
Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men – from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls.”
There is a wonderful story of Abraham Lincoln when he was riding one day in a coach. There was a colonel from Kentucky with him. The colonel reached into his inside vest pocket and took out a container of whiskey. He said, “Here Mr. Lincoln, have a swig of whiskey.”
Mr. Lincoln said, “No sir; thank you. I never drink whiskey.”
They rode along a little while longer and the colonel reached into his other vest pocket and took out a big, long cigar and said, “Here Mr. Lincoln. Have a cigar.”
Mr. Lincoln said to the colonel, “No. I never smoke cigars.”
Then Mr. Lincoln said, “Let me tell you a story. When I was nine years of age, I was called to my mother’s bed. She held my hand and said, ‘Abe, the doctor tells me I’m very sick and I’m not going to get up from this bed. Dear boy, I want you to promise me something from my deathbed – that you will never smoke or drink.'” Abe Lincoln said to the colonel from Kentucky, “Now, would you wish at this time I break that promise?”
The colonel paused and said, “Oh no, dear kind sir. I would pay $1,000 if I had made that promise and kept it all these years. I would be a better man for it.”
Abraham Lincoln, when asked about his incredible strength, said, “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”
We’ve made many, many promises in our lifetime. Most of them have been to our mothers. And how many thoughts she had for us as she was raising us. How good it is to have a day to honor her and realize that she made us.
Whenever Alexander the Great was entertaining people in the palace, he would always put on a special gown that was woven for him by his mother. Every time we go out in public, we put on a gown that was woven for us by our mothers – not only the skin we have, the eyes, teeth, and hair, but also the way we act.
Perhaps over years we have forgotten some of the things that mom has taught us, but this is a day to remember. This is a day to go back and remember the very best of mom when she was at her best. We become our best by recalling and reliving her best.
The VERY BEST she taught was LOVE, by her example.
A man was talking with a woman and asked, “What do you do?” She said, “I’m just a mother.” This is what Theodore Roosevelt said about being “just a mother.”
“When all is said, it is the mother, and the mother only, who is a better citizen than the soldier who fights for his country. The successful mother, the mother who does her part in rearing and training aright the boys and girls who are to be the generation of men and women of the next generation, is of better use to the country if only she would realize it. A more honorable as well as a more important position than any man, the mother is the one supreme asset of national life. She is more important, by far, than the successful statesman, businessman, artist, or scientist.”
I have one more story to share with you that will touch you. It is an old Chinese story. Po Yu did wrong and he cried when his mother chastised him with a stick. “You never used to cry when I thrashed you,” said his mother. “Why do you cry today?”
He answered, “When I did wrong and you thrashed me, it always used to hurt. But this time mother’s strength is such that it did not hurt. That’s why I cry.”
Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.
Let us pray. Dear God, one of the most incredible gifts you ever gave me as a human being is my physical mother. I thank You for that incredible gift. I thank You for all the times we’ve spent together and all the lessons she shared with me. Every day I will make my life an example of her love, and in my life I will make her love very much alive and her life not wasted. Her love is the life I live.
I thank you, dear mother, for your love, patience, and incredible kindness hour after hour. For the life I have today, I give all credit to you.
In Jesus Christ’s name I pray … Amen.
PRAYER / MEDITATION__________________________________________
In this spiritual place of prayer there is love. In this spiritual place of prayer there is peace and harmony. Dear God, I pray that You will help me to fill my own mind with love, peace, and harmony. I declare, right now, my belief in You and in all others that You have created.
Help me, dear God, to make secure this belief in my mind. Make it so much a part of me that I begin to live it. I live it in my daily contact with others.
Rest in the silence of prayer …
Grant that there be given to me tolerance, understanding and forgiveness. I pray that I am able to love, like at no time before, the children of the Divine Presence everywhere – my brothers and my sisters.
I pray that I am never stopped in loving because of any failing I perceive with my human brain. And I pray that I am able to love myself and not be stopped because of my failings.
I am striving every day to overcome my failings. Dear God, I strive to overcome each through Your love which is perfect. Strengthen, therefore, my belief in You. Strengthen, therefore, my belief in others as I give expression to this belief in these words:
I believe in God.
I believe in one humanity; every man my brother, every woman my sister.
I believe in one common freedom of thought and expression established among all races and nations, and one world of unity and cooperation in one purpose of mutual love and understanding.
In this, to this end, I believe all may attain the one great goal in life – universal love, peace and happiness.
May we rest this moment in the love of God, in the silence.
Rest in the silence of prayer …
You enter into this day with joy and enthusiasm for you know God is with you. There is good in everything and you are able to find good in this day. You are part of the upward progressive movement of life. You call forth the best in yourself and others as you are a loving, understanding, and compassionate person. You are capable of carrying on your life. You are capable of rising out of sadness into light, life, and joy. You are light; hold these words deep in your being.
You let the light of God radiate through you in the silence of prayer …
Rest in the silence of prayer …
Dear God, how grateful I am for the earthly expression of our mother. We pray You will bless her now. If she is on this earthly plane or on another, we pray You will bless her. We know prayer is the language of Spirit and it is not limited by time or space.
We give thanks for the incredible privilege we have had to know our mother.
In Jesus Christ’s name we pray on this wonderful Mother’s Day … Amen.
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